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I am not equipped to give him the care he needs. We are not married. I'm 76 and in the process of moving. His Medicare has run out. Before he was in a home, I took care of him for years without any help from his son or daughter. I took him food shopping, doctor's appointments, did his bills, etc. The home won't release him unless he has night and day care. He is incontinent and needs constant bathroom care. His kids want him to stay with me until they find another place. I hate to see them put him in a terrible place. I feel guilty that I have to say no to his kids. What can I do?

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You say “No.”

If they want him at home, then he can live in theirs.

They’ll say they will help if you take him home; I’m sure you know that is an empty promise.
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XenaJada Sep 29, 2022
^^^THIS!^^^
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When they tell you that just laugh, I was surprised when I discovered most states don't recognize common law marriages so you have no reason to feel obligated. Don't let them bully you, if they feel he shouldn't be in a nursing home then let them know you aren't up to the task and it's up to them to provide the care he needs in THEIR homes.... if they get belligerent then stop accepting their calls.
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You politely tell them you are sorry but you are unable to adequately take care of him anymore. His needs are too much for you to handle and it wouldn’t be a safe environment for either of you. Why can’t he stay at the facility he is at?
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lkdrymom Sep 28, 2022
This is exactly what you say because the moment he enters your house, they will stop looking for a place for him.
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" His kids want him to stay with me until they find another place."

Once he's back with you they will stop looking for another place.
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CaregiverL Oct 4, 2022
CT, you’re absolutely right!
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Say no. You cannot possibly provide 24/7 care.
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The social worker at his current rehab can find him a placement that will accept Medicaid if he needs that for funding.

Facility to facility transfers are easiest because his need for NH-level care is already established.

Onice he gets discharged to a private home, you are back to square one and need to deal with waiting lists that can be YEARS long.
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Saying no is the obvious answer.

If you want to try to help, set specific boundaries, like “I can plan to visit from 1:00 to 4:00 on Fridays for the first two months. I’ll try to give you 24 hours notice if I need to cancel. I can’t be there on the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

If he lived with you or had stuff at your old place, you should probably be cooperative in returning his stuff or you can offer to safeguard a couple of boxes of papers, photos, and momentous for a limited time if that feels right.

Even if you are his POA, you do not have any obligation to provide hands on care or a place to live in your home. You’d need to manage his funds for his benefit (likely including LTC admission paperwork SIGNED as POA), or resign and notify those effected (hopefully including a successor).

Be clear with the discharge planner that you cannot do hands on care or provide a place to live.
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It sounds to me you have graciously done all you can do. You alone can’t possibly give him the care he needs. Say no and don’t feel guilty hun. You have definitely done your part. God bless you.
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Reply to Salsnh93
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”I hate to see them put him in a terrible place.” But would they? He’s their father and they presumably want the best for him. Or - now think about this - do you believe that any care facility is a terrible place? Because that isn’t true. There are many facilities where patients are well cared for. Tell his children that you can’t provide the care he needs. Then present them with information that will help them find the place best suited for your boyfriend. Don’t guilt yourself into a job you don’t want by presuming something that isn’t true in the first place! Good luck to you.
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Sure they do. Tell them THEY should take their dad in to THEIR home, then you can go visit him there. You're being sold a pig in a poke here. You've done enough. You're 76 yourself, unmarried, and have yourself to care for now. A SNF or a Memory Care ALF is the best place for your boyfriend now, so it's up to his children to figure out which one.

Best of luck and please don't feel guilty!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I get the impression from ur profile and your post that you didn't live together. Even if you did, common law marriages, I think, are only if both parties agree to it and they consider themselves husband and wife. You said BF not SO.

No, is a one word sentence. Its his children's responsibility to have him transferred from Rehab (I am assuming since Medicare ran out and they only pay for Rehab)not yours. If Rehab is associated with a LTC then they can have him transitioned over. Spending his money for his care or applying for Medicaid. I agree, if you let him into ur house, the kids will disappear. Like said they can bring him to their homes and take time off from work to care for him till they find something else. Do not feel guilty, they have options and u should not feel u need to be one. Like said there is a SW who can help them. I would not volunteer to help in any way. Let them ask.

Tell them No, sorry, I am in the process of moving and will not have the time to care for him. You are not obliged to tell them where or when.
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You can certainly provide help without being all (or most) of the solution. It is a hard "no" to him going back to your place -- not even temporarily. It would be too much effort to set it up only to have him leave. And I agree with others who are suspicious that once he's in your place, then YOU are the solution.

Are any of his kids his PoA? I sure hope so. FYI my MIL is in LTC on Medicaid in a very lovely non-profit, faith-based facility, and she even has a private room. So, don't despair that he's doomed to a "terrible place". Helping to research and visit facilities will speed up his placement and help his kids feel supported. If any of your assets are co-mingled you may need to discuss this with an elder law attorney (in order to prep him for Medicaid qualification). If he has funds he can go into a place on private pay (and avoid waiting lists) but the place needs to accept Medicaid recipients so this question has to be asked point-blank.

Please don't feel guilty... his kids will find out soon enough that one 76-yr old woman can't care for another adult man all day long who is impaired and getting worse. It's not possible.
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Why haven't they been looking?

I agree with others, they will not bother to find another place if you take him.

They need to find a place and if it isn't providing the level of care he needs, then they keep looking. It is not unusual for the first facility chosen to not work out.

No. It is a complete sentence.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Becca, you posted in May 2021 that this relationship has been verbally abusive throughout and that his children have been of little help.

Now is the time for your boyfriend to transition from his current rehab placement to a NH or NH Memory Care unit. No one person can care for a dementia patient; you need 3 shifts of young, rested caregivers.
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JoAnn29 Sep 30, 2022
I read her other post and saw no abuse.
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Please don't feel guilty. At 76 years old, it would be a lot to take care of a man with dementia and incontinence, and his condition is likely to get worse as he ages and as the dementia advances. You probably can't do this alone. You'd need in-home caregivers to help. And if you are moving, now is not the time to take this on. Moves are difficult for people with dementia. Try to keep his moves to a minimum. Who is his POA for medical and financial matters? The Medical POA should have a say in where he goes. The financial POA will make arrangements to finance it. It may help to get connected with a local social worker who can help explain his options, given his finances. It's up to you to draw your boundaries and explain them to his children. All the best.
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You are not a professional care giver; just say NO and mean it, unless you want to end up being their unpaid slave.

Tell his children to call Adult Protective Services to evaluate him for immediate placement; then move and turn your phone off until THEY solve the problem. Remove yourself from the equation. Obviously, there's a reason for not marrying the guy, right? Please set up "Boundaries of Self Protection."
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker
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There is no way you can care for him. Say "No" and don't feel guilty. You are not doing anything wrong. You are doing what is right. You cannot provide the level of care he needs. Let his children figure it out without your home as an option. It seems they are used to relying on you for their dad's care. Realistically that has come to an end as all things do eventually. Time for them to be responsible.
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Reply to golden23
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Say just as you said here.

You love him, but his care needs are beyond what can be done at home.

Stay polite but be firm.

Being the hands-on caregiver is not the only way to show love.

His children will need to adjust & align their expectations with reality.
Their Father got old.
This is life.
This is mostly outside their control.

It is normal fo adult children to feel SAD seeing their parent have to move from their home.

But expecting someone else to do the work so they can avoid their uncomfortable feelings is bonkers really.

Either they will come around & get it - or unfortunately some are a bit.. umm.. thick or entitled.

I truly hope his children are not of that sort. Reasoning then is less effective.
No. On repeat is needed instead.

I am pleased you have found a good place for your boyfriend to be cared for & wish you both the best.

Edit: Not sure if a place has been found yet - but he is safe somewhere for now.
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Your house your rules, just firmly tell them no.

If they complain, play them the song Single Ladies by Beyonce.

Play it again, increasing the volume every time they annoy you.
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"I want him to have the best care, and I can't provide it. I'm sure that's what you want, too, RIGHT??"
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Reply to MJ1929
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If you can not care for him for whatever reason simply say that you can not safely care for him.
They will have to find other options.
Do not let them talk you into it. Don't let the "guilt" you into it.
Stand your ground!!!
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Say NO !! You won’t be stable to care for him… trust me. If you take him in, he will never be able to get him back out.
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Hard No…
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“I took care of him for years without any help from his son or daughter. “

I promise you, they won’t help if you take him home. History will repeat itself.
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You say that the home won't release him unless he has night and day care, so there you have it. Case closed. Let that nursing home admin folks deal with Medicaid. Let them duke it out with his kids.

Stay the dang, bang, dog gone heck OUT OF IT. Don't sign or agree to anything.
Get smart and play stunned and deflated.

Actually I hate speaking like this, but you're hurting and being ganged up on.

Hey, do this... since I got old and grey I find you can get a lot of mileage out of sadly looking toward the floor, and gently shake your head "no" w/o words, and shrug every so often at the same time. Do this a lot. After all, after 40 years you're hurting about the situation. Gentle and pitifully say to his kids - Someone stronger has to step up. Eyes back toward the floor, shake your head and say…This is so sad.

You feel guilt? Holy smoke. I can't take it. Puhleez, the kids are guilt-nipulating you. Kick your clever brain in gear. Be hyper observant through soft sad eyes. Observe the tools, the verbal tools, they use. They are the tools that will work on them. Best not to respond if you can't manage.

Sweet lady, please, tell me that you aren't smoking something funny? If you don't self-protect at this point, well then let me sell you a new styrofoam roof and some land on the moon while we're at it.

If you were here with me, I'd give you a gentle open handed k-nock on the back of your head, (more in the way of a good humored gesture), and I guarantee that about 100 other readers would queue up at your door after me to do the same if you entertain this thought one more time.

Nuh-uh-uh. Don't even. Nope. NO, end of story.
You don't touch this even with a 10 foot catheter.

At any age you don't take on this work. You be a girlfriend, period. Be a handholding girlfriend. Do not let anyone, ANYONE, not the Pope, the police, Elvis or anybody convince you to do this. If someone presses just say I have to talk to my lawyer I think. I don't think it's safe anymore.

Forty-years is a huge thing and you are super vulnerable right now. Don't let these hardier adults bamboozle you.

Also btw, there are boyfriends and there are boyfriends and because YOU mentioned you're not married indicates that you are aware that your not in a good position in some respects, BUT in a great position as you are not legally responsible to take on this enormous work that SHOULD ONLY BE HANDLED BY PROFESSIONALS, not a soon to be 80 year old lady (in less than 4 years).

And talk about feeling guilty. Shame on you. You should feel proud of yourself. Who have you got? His kids should feel like weasels. Did you have kids with him?

Think hard. Tell them you are not well but you don't want to talk about it.

Take care of yourself.
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SnoopyLove Oct 2, 2022
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Tell the kids if he stays where he is, he already has the Medicaid process completed. They can find the new place and just do a transfer. Much easier that way than to close the Medicaid, put him back on Medicare and then go through the process again. (Medicare doesn't run out, so I'm just assuming he had it and then had to apply for Medicaid because he did not have enough money to pay for a NH out of his own pocket)

Just tell them what NH said: he needs 24/7 care and you cannot physically provide it yourself and you can't afford to pay for it. You can't feel guilty about telling them no. If you cannot physically manage his needs, you can't. They didn't help out before. Maybe if they had, he could have stayed in your home a little longer. Who knows. His situation is beyond your physical strength and your guilt.

You might tell them if they are set on removing him, they should check in to the cost of care attendants before moving him in to their home. It is very expensive. They would have to have a care plan in place to remove him so he is not along at their house at any time (to avoid adult protective issues or a medical disaster).

Just curious. Do they live far away and want him closer to them now? Or they just don't like the home he is in?
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JoAnn29 Oct 3, 2022
When in Rehab Medicare does run out. 20 days are 100% paid. 21 to 100 days only 50%. In that time, Medicare can have him discharged if not showing progress. You sign up for Medicare once at 65. It does not pay for LTC only Rehab.
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Give yourself permission to say no. Then stop feeling guilty.

Taking care of someone 24/7 with incontinence and dementia is a huge job. Regardless of marital status or relevant healthcare training. To do a great job, you have to be “all in.”

If you are asking this group of strangers for approval, you clearly aren’t all in.

It’s okay that you aren’t, this is a choice, not a requirement and the choice is yours, not theirs to make.

Your next choice is whether you wish to remain present in his life and theirs.

You have been there for many years and certainly have taken a big share of caretaking already.

Now do something to take care of yourself instead.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Personally, I would love to say no to these leeches. It would be an impossible job for you, and no good for him. They don't mean well to you or to him, never have, from what you say. Talk to the administration where he is and tell them what the kids are saying. With any luck, they will provide support and agreement. Your agreement would be muddying the waters of getting him onto the care he needs. My guess the kids are afraid of some financial repercussions for themselves.. Oh, would
that it were so. Good luck. Focus on finding care for yourself; you deserve it.
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Reply to Moxies
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I’m sort of in same predicament..only I caved in & took my 95 year old mother with dementia home again. The private pay caregiver I’ve had for 5 years agreed to come back. I just lost my job & was vulnerable & emotional & couldn’t think straight. The facility wanted me to find another facility..probably because she’s difficult, a 2 person assist, agitation…I gave 2 other choices that was close & convenient..& they declined her…So I am touring facilities without being rushed. Nursing homes rather take easier patients….My mother has bouts of extreme agitation since she’s home..she keeps turning it around that Im the one who has the problem..not her.
my advice is to say to facility it would be an “unsafe discharge “ & apply for Medicaid if he doesn’t have long term care insurance. If his children didn’t help before, they wouldn’t now. If you do Medicaid home care, you’ll still have to be there most of the time to supervise, let them in, get scripts, make home visit dr appointments. Etc . & what happens when the “help” don’t show up? You’ll have to clean up messy #2 & change diaper. Is Assisted living an option? You’re not getting any younger either. His needs will increase. Hugs 🤗
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My heart aches for you. But, dementia is a disease and your partner requires expert care. The short answer is "No. I cannot provide the appropriate care that he needs."

If you need to, make note and write down the specifics of the care he receives. Write down everything from the bed he is in to the equipment in the bathroom to the food that he eats. Make note of the staff who help to bathe and dress him (possibly even feeding him). Write down the skilled nursing and doctor staff that he currently has, and any therapists (OT, PT, SLP) on staff at the facility. Note the medications he is on, how they are delivered, and by whom. And, pay attention to how the nursing facility monitors him: is there an alert pad on the floor near his bed, a fall button, or an alert button he presses, or how many times during the night do they check on him...
Note ALL of it and know that is the minimum that is needed at home.

Then, realize that when he is moved from one location to the next he will become confused, disoriented, and possibly combative making the need for all of the things he has now have to increase.

Loving someone means ensuring they are cared for and safe. That cannot be done by you at home. And saying NO may be the most loving thing you can do for him right now.
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